Aldec, Inc. is a privately owned electronic design automation company based in Henderson, Nevada that provides software and hardware used in creation and verification of digital designs targeting FPGA and ASIC technologies.

HeadquartersHenderson, Nevada,
United States
ProductsActive-HDL, ALINT-PRO, Riviera-PRO, Spec-TRACER, RTAX/RTSX Prototyping, HES-DVM, HES-7, TySOM

As a member of Accellera and IEEE Standards Association Aldec actively participates in the process of developing new standards and updating existing standards (e.g. VHDL, SystemVerilog). Aldec provides a hardware description language (HDL) simulation engine for other EDA tools such as Altium Designer and bundles special version of its tools with FPGA vendors software such as Lattice.[1]


  • Aldec was founded in 1984 by Dr. Stanley M. Hyduke.
  • In 1985 the company released its first product: MS-DOS-based gate-level simulator SUSIE. For the next couple of years several versions of the product were used as companion simulators for popular schematic entry tools such as OrCAD.
  • Sensing growing popularity of Microsoft Windows, ALDEC ported its simulator to this platform and added schematic entry and design management tool. The new software suite was released in 1992 as Active-CAD (some low-end versions of the suite were for some time sold under Susie-CAD brand). One of the distinguishing features of Active-CAD was the ability of instantaneous transfer of schematic changes to the simulator, allowing quick verification of the behavior of the modified circuit.
  • In 1996 Aldec signed agreement with Xilinx that allowed distribution of Xilinx-only version of Active-CAD under the Foundation name.
  • While VHDL and Verilog were supported by Active-CAD in the form of schematic macros, the release of Active-VHDL in 1997 marked the shift from netlist-based design to HDL-based design. After adding Verilog support, Active-VHDL was renamed to Active-HDL and is still available (as of 2020).
  • In 2000 ALDEC released high-performance HDL simulator working not only on Windows, but also on Solaris and Linux platforms.[2]
  • In 2001 ALDEC added hardware to its product line: HES (Hardware Embedded Simulation) Platform that allows hardware acceleration of HDL simulation and incremental prototyping of hardware.
  • Year 2003 marks the release of Riviera-PRO supporting assertion based verification (OpenVera, PSL and SystemVerilog can be used to write properties, assertions and coverage.)
  • Support for SystemC and non-assertion part of SystemVerilog was added in 2004. Interfaces to MATLAB and Simulink appeared in Aldec tools for the first time in 2005.
  • In 2006 Riviera-PRO was the first simulator supporting Open IP Encryption Initiative by Synplicity.[3]
  • Stimulated by requests from Verilog users, ALDEC released in 2007 an advanced, user-configurable lint tool implementing rules created by STARC - Japanese consortium of major silicon vendors.
  • In 2008, releases ALINT: Design Rule Checker (STARC – Japanese Consortium of 11 ASIC Companies)
  • 2010, releases Support for VHDL IEEE 1076-2008.
  • In 2010, Aldec's Active-HDL wins Best FPGA Design & Simulation Tool in China
  • In 2011, Aldec delivers UVM 1.0, OVM 2.1.2 & VMM 1.1.1a Support, releases 4 MHz Design Emulator, and wins Best FPGA Design & Verification Platform Provider in China.
  • In 2012, Aldec enters SoC/ASIC Prototyping Market with HES-7 and jointly launches OSVVM, VHDL Verification.
  • In 2013, Aldec releases Spec-TRACER Requirements Lifecycle Management
  • In 2015, Aldec Releases ALINT-PRO with CDC Verification.
  • In 2016, Aldec releases TySOM Product Line for Embedded Development using SoC FPGAs
  • In 2020, Releases Support for VHDL IEEE 1076-2019.



  • Active-HDL - FPGA development environment built around common kernel HDL simulator. Supports text-based and graphical design entry and debugging tools, allows mixed-language simulation (VHDL/Verilog/EDIF/SystemC/SystemVerilog) and provides unified interface to various synthesis and implementation tools. Also supports assertion based verification with Open Vera, PSL, or Systemverilog Assertion statements. Special versions of the software that support just one FPGA vendor are available, e.g. Active-HDL Lattice Edition. Only available on MS Windows platform.
  • Riviera-PRO - high-end HDL simulator targeting ASIC and large FPGA designs. Riviera-PRO extends Active-HDL's simulation features with support for advanced verification methodologies such as linting, functional coverage, OVM and UVM, hardware acceleration, and prototyping. Riviera-PRO is a new generation of the tool known as Riviera-Classic and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit on MS Windows and Linux.
  • HES-DVM - solution allowing acceleration of HDL simulation (10x to 50x verification time reduction), emulation of the entire design and hardware/software co-simulation (useful in Embedded System development).
  • ALINT-PRO - single framework for design rule checker/linting and CDC analysis. ALINT-PRO is able to conduct extensive textual analysis of individual Verilog, VHDL and SystemVerilog design sources and advanced checks of the entire design hierarchy. Multiple sets of highly configurable, predefined rules are available and new, custom rules can be created using provided API. Built-in Phase-Based Linting methodology allows faster, more efficient checking of rules. ALINT-PRO smoothly supports running the rule checks for designs that target FPGA implementation using Xilinx, Intel, Microsemi, and Lattice technologies with minimal setup
  • Spec-TRACER - unified requirements life-cycle management application designed specifically for FPGA and ASIC designs. Facilitates requirements capture, management, analysis, traceability and reporting; integrates with Windows-based HDL design and simulation tools.
  • IP Products - a set of general-purpose Intellectual Property blocks created by Aldec and its partners, validated in Active-HDL and Riviera-PRO environments.


  • HES-7 - high capacity, high density, FPGA-based ASIC prototyping solution. With help of Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA-based prototyping boards, HES-7 allows testing designs of up to 24 million ASIC gates.
  • Microsemi RTAX/RTSX Prototyping - the efficient way of prototyping designs with radiation hardened FPGA by using footprint-compatible prototyping boards with flash-based, reprogrammable chips on top. The solution includes optional software for netlist translation.
  • DO-254 Compliance Test System (CTS) - It is a complete verification solution that can assure the FPGA on your system to be DO-254/ED80 compliant. The CTS gives the user the ability to perform an advanced way of In-Hardware Simulation instead of the traditional Hardware Testing. As test vectors for the In-Hardware Simulation, you can reuse the same testbench with 100% Code Coverage results captured from RTL simulation. By reusing the same testbench, the Hardware Verification can easily achieve requirements traceability. You can perform the In-Hardware Simulation at speed at the target device. The CTS also allows easy comparison and debugging of the In-Hardware Simulation and HDL Simulation results via waveform format.
  • TySOM - Embedded development boards and FMC daughter cards based on Xilinx Zynq-7000 series targeting IoT, ADAS and Industrial Machine Vision.


Aldec provides fully functional, heavily discounted versions of its software for educational institutions worldwide (Kumaon Engineering College, National Technology University).

Aldec also offers a special Student-Edition of Active-HDL, downloadable from Aldec's website. The Student-Edition has limited design capacity and some reduction of program functionality, but supports both design languages (Verilog resp. VHDL).

The company also supports local education - in 1999 it contributed to the establishment of the "Aldec Digital Design Laboratory" at the UNLV.[4]

Aldec software is packaged with several electronic design related books (e.g. "Digital Design: Principles and Practices", "CONTEMPORARY LOGIC DESIGN").

Student Edition of Active-HDL was the first HDL simulator to be sold at Walmart.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ EN-genius Programmable logic ZONE, "Lattice And Aldec Form Alliance For FPGA Design And Design Verification"
  2. ^ Richard Goering, "Aldec rolls out Linux-based mixed-language simulator",, November 13, 2000
  3. ^ Christine Evans-Pughe, "Protecting your IP just got simpler" Archived 2006-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, Paragraph 11, Electronics Weekly, October 13, 2006
  4. ^ ECE-UNLV staff, "ALDEC, (...) plays a significant role in ECE programs" Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, Page 3, ECE-UNLV News, Vol 5, 2005
  5. ^ EDN Online Staff, "EDA Software Sold in Walmart." Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, EDN, February 20, 2006

External linksEdit

  • Official site